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ESEP: Chronology

Because the Atlanta/ESEP project is such a complex interweaving of strands with so many different kinds of players and because it has evolved so rapidly, this rather detailed chronology may be instructive for those seeking guidance in effecting systemic reform in their own districts.

December 1993
Dr. Robert DeHaan attends New Orleans meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB). He talks to Dr. Bruce Alberts of the University of California at San Francisco, who is also the director of the Science and Health Education Project (future link) DeHaan decides to start a similar outreach effort from Emory to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) involving scientists as mentors.
 
January 1994
Emory student Frances Dabney asks to do student lab rotation, but instead accepts the task of helping organize the science mentor project.
 
February 1994
DeHaan meets with two principals and 28 teachers at two APS elementary schools. When offered science faculty mentors as occasional resources, one teacher asks to have undergraduate science partners instead. 
 
Spring 1994
DeHaan meets with the Director of Emory's Division of Educational Studies and two principals and 12 teachers from APS to discuss establishing a science-education partner program. He then sends recruitment letters to all 800 Emory science and math majors. He anticipates 10 positive responses; he gets 84.  
 
June 1994
A 10-member Science Partner Student Council is formed. It names the program "Elementary Science Education Partners (ESEP)" and begins developing the hands-on ESEP Experiment Manual for teachers, taking ideas for exercises from many non-copyrighted sources.  
 
June 1994
The just-formed ESEP Steering Committee, with members from the APS administration, teachers, and Emory faculty, begins weekly meetings.  
 
June 1994
Dr. L. Vernon Allwood of the Morehouse School of Medicine, working independently and without knowledge of DeHaan's effort, receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for a "Precollege Science-Education Initiative" designed to place college students as science helpers for elementary school teachers in 10 APS schools.   
July 1994  
Plans for an ESEP science course in the Emory Biology Department are developed and accepted by the ESEP Steering Committee. 
 
August 1994  
Dr. Molly Weinburgh of Georgia State University joins the ESEP Steering Committee to provide advice on the training of science partners and the professional development of APS elementary-school teachers. 
 
September 1994  
Dr. William Chace becomes President of Emory and states his support for increasing the university's effort in community service; Dr. Benjamin O. Canada takes over as the new Superintendent of APS.
 
September 1994
The ESEP pilot project is launched with a nine-hour training session for 73 students; training done largely by Weinburgh. Each student pays $12 for the ESEP Experiment Manual and gives one copy to teacher partner. 
 
October 1994
Camille Goebel is recruited as a volunteer to help organize and train Emory science partners.
 
November 1994
DeHaan hears about Allwood's Howard Hughes program and invites Allwood to consider the possibility of a joint ESEP program with the Morehouse School of Medicine.   
 
November 1994  
Chace writes Canada offering Emory's services to help improve elementary-school education in Atlanta. 
 
November 1994
Six ESEP school principals report that an unanticipated high number of teachers who have science partners are requesting training in hands-on science; DeHaan realizes that science partners are serving as "change agents." 
 
December 1994
DeHaan visits CAPSI in Pasadena, {Examples: CAPSI/Pasadena} and consults with its leaders about science modules and professional development for teachers. DeHaan also discusses his year-long pilot ESEP experience with Alberts of SEP and City Science Director, Jan Tuomi {Examples: SEP/San Francisco}
 
January 1995
Heavy recruiting by ESEP results in 97 Emory science partners.
 
February 1995
DeHaan, Georgia State University's Weinburgh, and Allwood begin writing a NSF proposal, indicating their intent to expand the six-school pilot project to ten schools; NSF suggests that the proposal cover all 70 elementary schools. Allwood agrees to establish a parallel science partners program at Atlanta University Campuses (i.e. Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College); Weinburgh agrees to the same for GSU students.
 
March 1995
The NSF proposal is submitted with DeHaan as PI and Allwood, Weinburgh, and Canada as Co-PIs.
 
May 1995
An Eisenhower proposal is submitted; a committee on kit-based science curriculum selects 27 modules to test.
 
June 1995
Team consisting of the APS Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Executive Director for Elementary Schools, one school principal, and DeHaan attend a week-long National Science Resources Center Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. This solidifies APS' commitment to program. APS commits $180,000 for kits for grades 1-5 in pilot schools for the 1995-6 school year. An ESEP Workshop is held for 16 elementary school principals and instructional specialists from each of the pilot schools. Jennifer Yure from CAPSI in Pasadena serves as a consultant facilitator {Example: CAPSI/Pasadena}. ESEP staff implements its first summer inservice in "inquiry science," piggy-backed on traditional APS staff development program; 57 teachers attend and respond with great enthusiasm.
 
July 1995
ESEP initiates the Science Partner Intern program in which three interns work for 10 weeks on editing and extending the ESEP Experiment Manual and testing kit lessons. Eisenhower grant funded. Camille Goebel named ESEP Assistant Director.
 
August 1995
ESEP course-for-credit established through five Emory departments (biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, anthropology). 
 
September 1995
Five-year NSF grant received for $5.7 million. APS principals attend inquiry-science workshop; DeHaan, Weinburgh, Allwood begin monthly coordinating meetings with APS administration; intercampus committee established to coordinate science-partner recruiting and training of science partners from six campuses.
 
October 1995
ESEP begins hiring administrative and professional development staff. ESEP begins its first "official" staff development with a 2-day kit-focused workshops for 48 APS teachers from grades 2, 3, and 4. Sixteen instructional liaison specialists from the same schools attend. The workshop is led by a team of consultants from the HASP program in Huntsville, Alabama.
 
Newly purchased kits are distributed to teachers by Dr. Weyman Patterson, math/science coordinator, because the APS Science Materials Support Center isn't quite ready.
 
November 1995
In response to teachers' concern about alignment of kits to the state's Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), a curriculum consultant is hired to lead a detailed analysis of kit lessons in terms of QCC objectives. Correlations are found.
 
December 1995
Co-PIs begin regular meetings with APS Director of Staff Development. A workshop is held for teachers and Instructional Liaison Specialists to debrief them on kits used for first three months.
 
January 1996
ESEP program is featured on a CNN education special.
 
February 1996
DeHaan reports on ESEP program to the Atlanta Board of Education and receives guarded support with questions about cost.
 
Team consisting of ESEP staff, APS administration, and one Board-of-Education member visits Huntsville, Alabama, to see the HASP Science Materials Support Center and professional development program. APS Department of Research and Evaluation creates and fills new position of science evaluator.
 
March 1996
DeHaan and Co-PIs begin discussions with cultural anthropologist Dr. Kathryn Kozaitis to help create a "participatory reform" project designed to overcome resistance of teachers to changing their traditional teaching methods to an inquiry approach.
 
April 1996
ESEP program is site-visited by Dr. Joyce Evans (NSF Program Office), who writes a positive and supportive report.
 
June 1996
A NSF Partnerships Conference is held in Washington, D.C. and a ESEP/APS team (Allwood, Canada, Kozaitis, Patterson, Weinburgh, and DeHaan) is highlighted.
 
The first SKIL Institute, for 24 teachers is taught by an 8-member ESEP staff with input from national professional development consultants. The institute is intense and requires 80 hours over 13 days, but teachers are uniformly laudatory.
 
July, 1996
Kozaitis accepts position of Assistant Director, Participatory Reform project, with support from an NSF supplement to the ESEP grant.
 
August 1996
ESEP staff holds follow-up workshop for SKIL teachers emphasizing adult learning and participatory reform; holds Instructional Liaison Specialist workshop, with aid of SKIL teachers. APS starts a Science Materials Support Center with a full-time coordinator to house and refurbish about 500 kits.
 
October 1996
SKIL teachers join ESEP staff as facilitators of intensive 2-day kit-focused professional development workshops for 387 4th and 5th grade teachers and a smaller number of 1st through 3rd grade teachers. ESEP staff models inquiry pedagogy for SKIL and classroom teachers. Teachers receive kits a few days later to use in own classrooms.
 
January 1997
ESEP holds a Workshop for Principals, "Creating a Vision for Science Education," that garners positive evaluations; ESEP staff and SKIL teachers are given high marks for the workshop.
Production of an ESEP training video begins.
 
February 1997
SKIL teachers play an increasingly important role with ESEP staff in kit-focused professional development workshops, and staff and SKIL teachers receive high marks.
 
April 1997
ESEP/Atlanta team attends New Orleans National Science Teachers Association meeting. A SKIL teacher wins the first "ESEP NSTA Travel Award Challenge" to attend Teacher Leader Conference at New Orleans NSTA meeting.
 
June 1997
Advanced SKIL Institute for 20 of the original group of SKIL teachers (SKIL 1), focusing on science content and adult learning.
 
July 1997
Second cohort of 18 SKIL teachers recruited; attend 80 hour SKIL 2 Institute, part of which is led by SKIL 1 teachers.
 
September 1997
Over 500 APS teachers (grades 3-5) attend staff development inservice workshops (2-day, kit-specific) led by teams of SKIL 1 and SKIL 2 teachers and ESEP staff.

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